Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Colour Collaborative: September: Market


Markets make me think of France. I remember childhood holidays and visits to local towns that were planned to coincide with market day. I remember the way a sleepy rural village could be transformed into something bustling and vibrant by the collection of a few stalls. 


The goods on sale and the way people shopped seemed so different to how we shopped at home (in a supermarket). People called out and shouted to each other, touched and squeezed everything on sale, and carried big wicker baskets, both men and women. On a recent holiday to rural South-West France I noticed that not much had changed. Market day is still a weekly anchor in the local calendar, and those markets still seemed suffused with the same warmth, light and colour that I remembered. 


Look at the pink and white radishes with their green leaves - such a crisp, summery colour combination, light and fresh. This is slightly off topic, but if you ever get the chance to eat a Boursin and sliced radish sandwich, do. It's amazing. 


The jars of honey glow in the sun like all the shades of amber lined up in a row.


Even the everyday, household items seem more colourful and enticing. 


I find that markets aren't quite the same event here in the UK. Does your local town or village have a market and do you know when it is? I'm not talking about Farmers' Markets, with their carrots with the tops still on, heritage tomatoes and artisan breads; they are lovely (and I love buying from them) but they seem to me like the outdoor equivalent of shopping in Waitrose. I'm talking about your normal, workaday gathering with fruit and vegetables, clothes, hardware and that stall that always sells mobile phone cases. I had to look mine up. It's on a Friday. I went for a look around and it was ok, a bit grey, but that was the fault of the drab 1960's shopping precinct as much as the merchandise. But two stalls really leaped out; the fruit and vegetable stall, and the flowers. So much choice and abundance, and really good value, and so much more colourful when everything isn't wrapped in plastic and lined up in grey boxes. 

I bought cyclamen, lots of cyclamen.


I love their wobbly pink flowers, the way they bob about on such spindly stems, and they seem like an autumn/winter plant to me. Potting them up is a seasonal tradition of mine. 


Look at those hues, from violet to flamingo to rose. All the pinks, in a pot.



Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
Sarah at Mitenska

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

26 comments:

Gracie Saylor said...

I love the idea of open markets and have occasionally visited Farmer's Markets which usually have arts and crafts as well, in the USA locations I have visited, but the French Markets must be very special...and shopping at them on a regular basis a lovely habit. I enjoyed seeing your colorful market examples and must admit I admire the gorgeous shades of pink in the flowers you chose, Gillian :) xx

Emma F said...

I grew up next to our local market, and always feel lost if there isn't one local (as a military family we move around a lot). Now we have a market in our nearest town on Wednesdays and Fridays and I try to visit as often as I can as I love the atmosphere and shopping outside. I don't think we have a local farmer's market here, and your comment comparing them to Waitrose did make me giggle as I always feel poor at farmer's markets!

Sharon - creativity and family said...

I love open markets. Our town did start a street market but there are only half a dozen stalls. When I lived in Cambridgeshire we had a fantastic market every Monday and Friday and a huge one every bank holiday Monday where you were just so crammed in jostling your way around. They had brilliant fabric stalls there! x

CJ said...

French markets are wonderful aren't they. We have a market here every Saturday, selling all sorts of miscellaneous things. Clothes, food, DVDs, hardware, plants. I wish there was still a livestock market though, that would be quite a sight to see. CJ xx

Jane said...

Yes I think you're right about markets not being quite the same here as they are on the Continent. We have a market in our local town (Tonbridge) but I haven't been there in a long time. We have plenty of farmers markets but I go once a month perhaps - a weekly shop would make my food bill too high. My mother-in-law lives in Spain and her local markets are wonderful (although there are some tourist tat stalls but that is unavoidable I think). Then when you're all shopped out there's the churros con salsa chocolate stall - oooh :o) xx

Jo said...

We don't have a market here but I visited a very good one in Louth in Lincolnshire this summer holiday - everything you would have wanted but not in the £1 style that some markets have become. Jo x

galant said...

There is a market in the market town of Newton Abbot but we seldom go there. As with all our shopping we tend only to shop when we need things, rather than going for a look-see.
Margaret P

VeggieMummy said...

We're quite lucky having markets on Thursday and Saturday with a twice monthly farmers' market too. I agree, it's not quite the same as in France - maybe it's the lack of sun?! I've put Boursin and radish sandwiches on my list of things to try! xx

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

This is just the sort of market I hoped existed, somewhere in the world. A much more inspiring thing. I'd visit that market! Thank you for another lovely post :)

S x

Dagmar said...

Just beautiful, loved the photos, brings a warm smile seeing all those amazing colours, beautifully done..popped over from Sandra's blog. :)
Xo
Dagmar

Mrs LH said...

My 2 local markets are Chesterfield (not far from Matlock) and Newark. Both are held in traditional cobbled market places and have a good variety of stalls. One stall even sells Emma Bridgewater seconds!! The fruit and veg is good quality as are the flowers. Both markets get very busy and are held 3 days per week. Love a good old fashioned market.

Ingrid Orens said...

Like you, I love the French markets... They have a certain "je ne sais quoi" about them, something you just cannot find in another country. Markets here in Belgium are just boring and ugly... (And nobody is carrying a wicker basket, pfffff...)

Sarah said...

Second hand books... that's a great thing to have at a market. Many of our almost-local ones seem to have certain 'days' where it's produce on one day, a flea market on another and so on.
One of the cottages near Joe's nursery always has really lovely window boxes and hanging baskets. I noticed yesterday they'd replaced all the summer plants with cyclamen in lots of shades of pink, all along the windows and in their containers and it looked gorgeous.
S x

Sarah said...

These sort of mixed markets don't really happen down my way. Guildford has its monthly farmer's market and I go to a couple of other nearby farmer's markets and I always make time for a visit to Oxford's Covered Market when I'm visiting my son, but I can barely remember the last time I visited a proper outdoor market which sells everything and anything. I guess their demise reflects the increase in on-line shopping. I was commenting to Jennifer that I don't do on-line supermarket shopping, but in fact I don't do on-lime shopping at all. (My children do!) I always feel if I want or need something badly enough it pays for me to make the effort to research and buy it in person.

Julie said...

I find supermarkets fascinating abroad too - I could wander around them for hours. I do love the fruit and veg stalls in Europe though - everything is so fresh and fragrant. There are several markets around here but I confess to only visiting them occasionally, usually on the hunt for something random like an oven bulb. x

Jennifer said...

I'd really like to visit a French market someday, or an English one. I think the market you describe here sounds a little like an American flea market. That would be a place to buy used books, phone accessories, etc., but not food. Well, maybe candy, or they might have a concession stand for snacks, but not fresh food. I like cyclamens but have only ever had one plant of my own. It was a gift from a boy I dated in college. He gave me a cyclamen plant for my birthday. He became a priest, but we had a nice time together. Cyclamens always make me think of him.

Annie Cholewa said...

We have a small Saturday market in each of the nearby towns, the kind that sells all sorts of things, both the really useful and the absolutely not, but I can't remember when I last visited one. We also have a number of local country markets - http://www.country-markets.co.uk/ to find your nearest - and good farmer's markets too (they're not at all the same thing, country markets are part of a 90 year old co-operative organisation).

The French markets I love best are the flea markets in Paris.

Librarian said...

Ripon's market is every Thursday, and every year I make it a point to go there while on holiday. They have everything from greeting cards to handbags to genuine Wensleydale cheese to honey and home-made cakes. It's a lovely, lively market, and the beautifuf market square provides the ideal setting.
Here in my hometown of Ludwigsburg, markets are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but it's "only" fruit, veg, flowers, meat, fish, eggs, cheese, stalls that sell Italian, Greek or French olives etc., no hardware, clothes or mobile phone cases.
I love the sights, smells and sounds.
The cyclamen pinks are fantastic!

Hannah Taylor said...

We have a very small fruit and veg market the sort where they sell a bowl of goodies for a £1 and the stall holders call you darling and they knock money off if you take the lot! This is my favorite sort of market. We also have a farmers market but this is more of a treat and not for our regular purchases. Great photos.

Penny said...

What beautiful images and I really enjoyed reading about your memories of shopping in french markets whilst on holiday. There are a couple of chi-chi 'farmers markets' near us but I find them terribly expensive and often feel I'm paying a premium on unwashed veg. We always love the market in Abergavenney when we go to Wales, it sells everything from plastic figurines to fresh butcher's meat. X

Cyndy R said...

Beautiful pics, Gillian! How blessed you are to have local markets. Mostly shopping centres in my part of the world! It looks so lovely and inviting! Thanks for sharing!

driftwood said...

that french market is a far cry from our shabby local one, that mostly sells over iced cupcakes and dog beds. sometimes the fish van comes though, he's always worth a visit.

Susan Smith said...

I can never believe anything could be better than the English markets, as we don't have anything like them here in Oz, although we do have 'farmers markets'. The French ones must be oh so good. I've caught up on my blog reading now, I think. Take care.

Nicky Slade said...

I am really liking the patchwork effect of your wallpaper samples - perhaps if you can get enough samples you can just use them as they are, for free (? - or do you have to pay for the samples?).

Anonymous said...

Viva la market!

Caroline South said...

Lovely colourful pictures Gillian. Love those cottons! xx